The American Way: Family and Community in the Shaping of the American Identity
Allan Carlson argues that the United States has been--and remains--the most family-centered of modern nations. Since 1900, the American identity has been shaped by carefully constructed images of the American family and the American home. From the surprisingly radical measures proposed by Theodore Roosevelt to encourage large, stable families, to the unifying role of the "American home" in successfully assimilating immigrants, to the "maternalist" campaign that turned early federal welfare programs in a pro-family direction, to the grounding of American foreign policy during the Cold War years in a family- and faith-centered discourse, Dr. Carlson shows how Americans have successfully responded to great challenges by turning to family and faith as wellsprings of national unity. Read what the critics say about The 'American Way': "Allan Carlson's The 'American Way' is the most counter-cultural book of the year." -- James V. Schall, S.J., Georgetown University "The 'American Way' a fascinating contribution to the history of social policy." -- Michael Potemra, National Review "Allan Carlson's The 'American Way' is a brilliantly conceived and provocatively written social history that will challenge the accepted view, confuse the court historians, and enlighten the reading public." -- Bob Cheeks, Intellectual "Brilliant and disturbing, this book is a 'must read' for anyone worried about the state of our private and social institutions." -- Bruce P. Frohnen, Ave Maria School of Law "Carlson makes the case clear: The fight for the family, the fight for the dignity of motherhood, the fight for children rights--especially their right to enter and be part of society--is the cornerstone of our fight for the American Way." -- Eduardo Llull, Human Events "Allan Carlson knows more about the history of the American family than any other person....This is a book of major importance." -- James Hitchcock, St. Louis University "[I]n this intriguing history Carlson demonstrates that the perduringly American decision, distinguishing America from the 'Old Europe,' is in favor of what he calls the child-rich family. The American Way provides a solid historical foundation for understanding today's controversies over what it means to be 'pro-family.'" -- First Things "[Carlson] authoritatively recaps some forgotten history that is full of eye-opening fascination." -- Ray Olson, Booklist "Taking on those who posit individualism, capitalism, or diversity as the dominant theme of American life, Allan Carlson makes the case that the United States is best understood through images of home and the child-rich family." -- R.W. Patterson, The Weekly Standard "...A concise, immensely readable book....Our attempts to reconstruct society...must be informed by the history Carlson records." -- John Zmirak, The American Conservative "Much bolder measures are necessary, says Carlson, if American culture is again to be put on a family- and community-centered footing. In The 'American Way' he provides a stirring foundation and blueprint for just such measures." -- National Review Book Service